Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) officials have successfully detonated unexploded ordnance in Battambang town, leading to roads being reopened in Svay Por commune.
Battambang town governor Peng Sithy said the unexploded ordnance was found along the Sangke riverbank as crews conducted restoration work near the Sangke pagoda.
He said because the items could explode, traffic along National Road 1 and Street 159D had been diverted and villagers in the area were told to stay in their homes starting last Wednesday.
He said CMAC officials finished destroying the items on Thursday after they were found near an old bridge.
“The decision to detonate the two unexploded ordnances at the scene was due to the fact that officers with CMAC confirmed that they would easily explode if dug and removed from the ground,” he said.
Sithy said residents living along National Road 1 were banned from leaving homes and crossing the two roads between 7am and 8:30am and between 2pm and 3pm so that CMAC could carry out their work.
The provincial police quick reaction team director Im Kosal said Sangke pagoda was used as a weapons depot in the 1970s, when explosions led to unexploded ordnance being scattered in the area, mostly along the bank of the Sangke river.
Kosal said the Battambang provincial mine action unit has searched, collected, and detonated much of the leftover weapons, but with recent improvements of the riverbank, Battambang officials had discovered more.
“CMAC officials intervened and successfully excavated the unexploded ordnance. Two others were destroyed at the scene while in the ground because they could explode if excavated,” he said.